Makaveli - 7 Day Theory

Biography

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This is a biography of Tupac and the movies he playes with along with the books written about him, and the books he read.

Tupac Shakur grew up around nothing but self-delusion. His mother, Alice Faye Williams, thought she was a "revolutionary." She called herself "Afeni Shakur" and associated with members of the ill-fated Black Panther Party, a movement that wanted to feed school kids breakfast and earn civil rights for African Americans.

During her youth she dropped out of high school, partied with North Carolina gang members, then moved to Brooklyn: After an affair with one of Malcolm X's bodyguards, she became political. When the mostly white United Federation of Teachers went on strike in 1968, she crossed the picket line and taught the children herself. After this she joined a New York chapter of the Black Panther Party and fell in with an organizer named Lumumba. She took to ranting about killing "the pigs" and overthrowing the government, which eventually led to her arrest and that of twenty comrades for conspiring to set off a race war. Pregnant, she made bail and told her husband, Lummuba, it wasn't his child. Behind his back she had been carrying on with Legs (a small-time associate of Harlem drug baron Nicky Barnes) and Billy Garland (a member of the Party). Lumumba immediately divorced fer.

Things went downhill for Afeni: Bail revoked, she was imprisoned in the Women's House of Detention in Greenwich Village. In her cell she patted her belly and said, "This is my prince. He is going to save the black nation."

By the time Tupac was born on June 16, 1971, Afeni had already defended herself in court and been acquitted on 156 counts. Living in the Bronx, she found steady work as a paralegal and tried to raise her son to respect the value of an education.

From childhood, everyone called him the "Black Prince." For misbehaving, he had to read an entire edition of The New York Times. But she had no answer when he asked about his daddy. "She just told me, 'I don't know who your daddy is.' It wasn't like she was a slut or nothin'. It was just some rough times."When he was two, his sister, Sekyiwa, was born. This child's father, Mutulu, was a Black Panther who, a few months before her birth, had been sentenced to sixty years for a fatal armored car robbery.

With Mutulu away, the family experienced hard times. No matter where they moved-the Bronx, Harlem, homeless shelters-Tupac was distressed. "I remember crying all the time. My major thing growing up was I couldn't fit in. Because I was from everywhere. I didn't have no buddies that I grew up with."

As time passed, the issue of his father tormented him. He felt "unmanly," he said. Then his cousins started saying he had an effeminate face. "I don't know. I just didn't feel hard. I could do all the things my mother could give me, but she couldn't give me nothing else."

The loneliness began to wear on him. He retreated into writing love songs and poetry. "I remember I had a book like a diary. And in that book I said I was going to be famous." He wanted to be an actor. Acting was an escape from his dismal life. He was good at it, eager to leave his crummy family behind. "The reason why I could get into acting was because it takes nothin' to get out of who I am and go into somebody else."

His mother enrolled him in the 127th Street Ensemble, a theater group in the impoverished Harlem section of Manhattan, where he landed his first role at age twelve, that of Travis in A Raisin in the Sun. "I lay on a couch and played sleep for the first scene. Then I woke up and I was the only person onstage. I can remeber thinking, "This is the best shit in the world!" That got me real high. I was gettin' a secret: This is what my cousins can't do."

In Baltimore, at age fifteen, he fell into rap; he started writing lyrics, walking with a swagger, and milking his background in New York for all it was worth. People in small towns feared the Big Apple's reputation; he called himself MC New York and made people think he was a tough guy.

He enrolled in the illustrious Balitomore School for the Arts, where he studied acting and ballet with white kids and finally felt "in touch" with himself. "Them white kids had things we never seen," he said. "That was the first time I saw there was white people who you could get along with. Before that, I just believed what everyone else said: They was devils. But I loved it. I loved going to school. It taught me a lot. I was starting to feel like I really wanted to be an artist.

By the time he was twenty, Shakur had been arrested eight times, even serving eight months in prison after being convicted of sexual abuse. In addition, he was the subject of two wrongful-death lawsuits, one involving a six-year-old boy who was killed after getting caught in gang-war crossfire between Shakur's gang and a rival group.

In the late eighties, Shakur teamed up with Humpty-Hump (a.k.a. Eddie Humphrey, a.k.a. Gregory "Shock-G" Jacobs) and other Oakland-based rappers to create Digital Underground, a band intent on massive bass beats and frenetic, Parliament-Funkadelic-style rhythms. In 1990, the group released its debut and best album, Sex Packets, a pulsating testament to the boogie power of hip-hop, featuring two classic tracks, "Humpty Dance" and "Doowutchyalike." After an EP of re-mixes in 1991, D.U. released Sons of the P and, the following year, The Body-Hat Syndrome, all on Tommy Boy Records.

In 1992, Shakur entered a most fruitful five-year period. He broke free of D.U. and made his solo debut, 2Pacalypse Now, a gangsta rap document that put him in the notorious, high-speed lane to stardom. That same year he starred in Juice, an acclaimed low-budget film about gangs which saw some Hollywood success. In 1993, he recorded and released Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., an album that found Shakur crossing over to the pop charts. Unfortunately, he also found himself on police blotters, when allegations of a violent attack on an off-duty police officer and sexual misconduct arose. The same year, Shakur played a single father and Janet Jackson's love interest in the John Singleton film Poetic Justice.

In November of 1994, he was shot five times during a robbery in which thieves made off with $40,000 worth of his jewelry. Shakur miraculously recovered from his injuries to produce his most impressive artistic accomplishments, including 1995's Me Against the World, which sold two million copies, and the double-CD All Eyez on Me, which sold nearly three million. As his career arc began a steep rise toward fame and fortune, Shakur was shot (most say suspiciously) and killed after watching a Mike Tyson fight with Death Row Records president Marion "Suge" Knight. Though his death was a jolt to his fans and the music community, Shakur himself often said that he expected he'd die by the sword before he reached thirty.

Following his passing, Shakur's label released an album, The Don Killuminati, under the pseudonym "Makaveli." The cover depicted Shakur nailed to a cross under a crown of thorns, with a map of the country's major gang areas superimposed on it. In January of 1997, Gramercy pictures released Gridlock'd, a film in which Shakur played the role of a drug addict to mostly good reviews. His final film, Gang Related, was released in 1997, and Death Row is said to have several unreleased recordings in the vaults for potential future release.

Movies

GANG RELATED

Release Date: Fall 1997
Director: Jim Kouf
Writer: Jim Kouf
Studio: Orion Pictures

Cast: James Belushi, Tupac Shakur (Rodriguez), Lela Rochon, Dennis Quaid

GRIDLOCK'D

Release Date: January 29, 1997
Director: Vondie Curtis Hall
Writer: Vondie Curtis Hall
Studio: Gramercy Pictures
Musical Score: Stewart Copeland

Length: 91m
Rating: R

Cast: Tim Roth, Tupac Shakur (Spoon), Thandie Newton

BULLET

Release Date: January 21, 1997
Director, Julien Temple
Writers: Bruce Rubenstein and Sir Eddie Cook
Studio: New Line Home Video
Available on: New Line Home Video

Length: 96m

Cast: Mickey Rourke, Tupac Shakur (Tank), Ted Levine, Adrien Brody

ABOVE THE RIM

Release date: March 23, 1994
Director: Jeff Pollack
Writer: Jeff Pollack
Musical Score: Marcus Miller
Studio: New Line Cinema
Available on: New Line Home Video

Length: 97m
Rating R
Box office sales: $16.9 million

Cast: Duane Martin, Tupac Shakur (Birdie), Leon, Marlon Wayans, Tonya Pinkins, Bernie Mac

POETIC JUSTICE

Release date: July 23, 1993
Director: John Singleton
Writer: John Singleton
Musical Score: Stanley Clarke
Studio: Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Companies
Available on: Columbia Tristar Home Video and Baker & Taylor Home Video

Length: 109m
Rating: R
Box office sales: $27.5 million

Cast: Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur (Lucky), Tyra Ferrell, Regina King, Joe Torry, Maya Angelou, Tone Loc, Q-Tip, Keith Washington

JUICE

Release Date: January 17, 1992
Director: Ernest R. Dickerson
Writers: Gerard Brown and Ernest R. Dickerson
Musical Score: Bomb Squad
Available on: Paramount Home Video

Length: 95m
Rating: R
Box Office Sales: $20.15 million

Cast: Omar Epps, Tupac Shakur (Bishop), Jermaine Hopkins, Khalil Kain, Cindy Herron, Vincent Laresca, Samuel L. Jackson



Books Based On Tupac

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a list of books read by Tupac during his lifetime including while he was at the Baltimore School of Arts and in prison. They are presented in no particular order. The topics include black history, the afterlife, religion including Zen, war, women's liberation, music, and poetry. Reading these books, it is clear how they molded 2Pac's thinking and language. This is a handy list of good reading material if you ever find yourself locked up.

Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member
Written by: Sanyika Shakur

Assata: An Autobiography
Written by: Assata Shakur

Ponder on This: A Compilation
From the Writings of: Alice A Bailey & the Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul

The Phenomenon of Man
Written by: Teilhard de Chardin

Kabbalah
Written by: Gersham Scholem

Thoughts and Meditations
Written by: Kahlil Gibran

Telepathy
Written by: Alice A Bailey

The Autobiography of Malcolm X
As told to: Alex Haley

Ah, This!
Written by: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Roots
Written by: Alex Haley

The Tibetan Book of the Dead
Written by: W.Y. Evans-Wentz

Black Like Me
Written by: John Howard Griffin

Bhagavad-Gita As It Is
Written by: A.C. Bhaktive-danta Swami Prabhupada

The Confessions of Nat Turner
Written by: William Styron

The Psychedelic Experience- A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead
Written by: Timothy Leary, Ph.D, Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., Richard Alpert, Ph.D.

James Baldwin: The Legacy
Edited by: Quincy Troupe

Initiation
Written by: Elisabeth Haich

The Meaning of Masonry
Written by: W.L. Wilmshurst

Social Essays
Written by: LeRoi Jones

The Grapes of Wrath
Written by: John Steinbeck

I Shall Not Be Moved
Written by: Maya Angelou

And Still I Rise
Written by: Maya Angelou

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Written by: Maya Angelou

Nature, Man and Woman
Written by: Alan W. Watts

Linda Goodman's Sun Signs
Written by: Linda Goodman

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Written by: Robert M. Pirsig

A Raisin in the Sun
Written by: Lorraine Hansberry

Native Son
Written by: Richard Wright

The Practical Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing
Written by: Mark Bricklin

The Complete Illustrated Book of the Psychic Sciences
Written by: Walter B. Gibson and Litzka R. Gibson

1984
Written by: George Orwell

One Hundred Years of Solitude
Written by: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Destiny of the Nations
Written by: Alice A. Bailey

The Visionary Poetics of Allen Ginsberg
Written by: Paul Portuges

The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy
Written by: E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Joseph F. Kett, James Trefil

The Diary of Anais Nin
Edited and with a Preface by: Gunther Stuhlmann

The Souls of Black Folk
Written by:W.E. Burghardt DuBois

The Psychic Realm
Written by: Naomi A. Hintze and J. Gaither Pratt, Ph.D.

Tropic of Cancer
Written by: Henry Miller

Nostradamus: The Millennium & Beyond
Written by: Peter Lorie

The State of the World Atlas
Written by: Michael Kidron and Ronald Segal

Catcher in the Rye
Written by: J.D. Salinger

Sisterhood is Powerful: Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement
Written by: Robin Morgan

In Search of Our Mother's Gardens
Written by: Alice Walker

Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools
Written by: Jonathan Kozol

At the Bottom of the River
Written by: Jamaica Kincaid

Music of Black Americans: A History
Written by: Eileen Southern

Moby Dick
Written by: Herman Melville

Life and Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Written by: Ira Peck

Art of War
Written by: Sun Tzu

Interesting People: Black American History Makers
Written by: George L. Lee

Blues People
Written by: Amiri Baraka

All You Need to Know About the Music Business
Written by: Donald Passman

All God's Children: The Boskett Family and the American Tradition of Violence
Written by: Fox Butterfield

Black Sister: Poetry by Black American Women, 1746 to 1980
Edited by Earlene Stetson

The Harder We Run: Black Workers Since the Civil War
Written by: William H. Harris

Makes Me Wanna Holler
Written by: Nathan McCall

Great White Lie: Slavery, Emancipation and Changing Racial Attitudes
Written by: Jack Gratus

Imitation of Christ
Written by: Thomas a Kempis

Teachings of the Buddha
Written by: Jack Kornfield

No Man Is an Island
Written by: Thomas Merton

Mysticism
Written by: Evelyn Underhill

Wisdom of Insecurity
Written by: A.N. Watts

Secret Splendor
Written by: Charles Essert

Life as Carola
Written by: Joan Grant

Serving Humanity
From the writings of: Alice A. Bailey

Here and Hereafter
Written by: Ruth Montgomery

The Prince
Written by: Niccolo Machiavelli

This is a background to Tupac's life. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me an e - mail at, arak_ayoub@yahoo.com.

Makaveli - 7 Day Theory...Dead or Alive?